WAKEFIELD — Wakefield used a monumental performance from junior Justin Erb and a relentless rushing attack to ground Lutheran High Northeast here at Eaton Field in the Trojans’ homecoming game.
Erb rushed for an astounding 409 yards and five touchdowns on the night as Wakefield turned away the Eagles 58-24 after trailing in the opening quarter.
And he added a 7-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Blake Brown in the second quarter for good measure and, by the way, registered 13 tackles on the other side of the ball.
“We thought we could wear them down during the game,” Wakefield coach Mike Hassler said. “I really thought our line took over in the second quarter and we didn’t look back.”
Lutheran High struck first in the opening quarter on a Jaxson Kant pass to Trystan Scott from 38 yards out and the Eagles went up 7-0 after a Cael Wiederin extra-point kick.
Wakefield and Erb got busy after the score and marched 54 yards in nine plays, exclusively on the ground and capped off by a Blake Heimann 2-yard run. After Brown scampered in for the conversion run, the Trojans took their first lead at 8-7 with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first.
“We wanted to get after them on the line,” Wakefield senior Nolan Litchfield said. “We wanted to control the line, and by the middle of the second quarter, we did.”
After trailing 13-8 at the end of the first, Wakefield went up 22-16 at the half and exploded for 22 points in the third to go up 44-24 heading into the final frame.
Erb sprinted 65 yards on the first play from scrimmage after the halftime break. Then, after a Brown interception on Lutheran High’s first chance with the ball in the third, Erb caught a pass from Brown that bounced off the hands of teammate Nick Arenas for a score.
Brown ran in the conversion and the score was suddenly 38-16 with just over 10 minutes left in the third.
“We made some mistakes when we just couldn’t or shouldn’t have made them,” LHNE coach Darin Suckstorf said. “We have some guys banged up right now, and we need to see how they are. Wakefield is a great team.”
After accumulating the 38-16 lead, the Wakefield defense forced a turnover on downs and took control of the ball at the Trojan 36 with 7:44 left in the third.
Erb ran for 45 yards on runs of 7, 5, 4, 16 and 13 yards before an injury to one of the Eagles halted play for more than 15 minutes.
After the injury, Erb found the end zone again, this time from 4 yards out to put Wakefield up 44-16.
“We just kept our foot on the throttle and moved forward,” Hassler said. “Things really went our way tonight, but some of that we made happen.”
Early in the fourth, Erb was in the end zone again.
“It feels really good to block for our guys and get them to the goal line,” Litchfield said. “Our guys on the line feel great when our teammates get in the end zone.”
Kant scored before the Erb run made it 52-24 on a 1-yard run with 2:21 left in the third and after he ran in the conversion it was 44-24.
Erb’s fourth touchdown made it 52-24, and his last score made the 58-24 final.
The road gets no easier for the Eagles as they will take on Howells-Dodge next week, a team that beat the Trojans 30-28 last weekend.
“We definitely have some work to do,” Suckstorf said. “We’ll regroup and see who is healthy enough to play next week — we’ll get back to work.”
LH (2-1) 13 3 8 0 — 24
W (2-1) 8 14 22 14 — 58
LH: Trystan Scott 38 pass from Jaxson Kant (Cael Wiederin kick) 9:35.
W: Blake Heimann 2 run (Blake Brown run) 2:09.
LH: Ben Gebhardt 20 pass from Kant (conversion failed) :00.
W: Justin Erb 25 run (Erb run) 10:08.
W: Nick Arenas 8 pass from Brown (Brown run) :09.
LH: Wiederin 36 field goal :00.
W: Erb 65 run (Erb run) 11:50.
W: Erb 7 pass from Brown (Brown run) 10:16.
W: Erb 4 run (conversion failed) 5:22.
LH: Kant 1 run (Kant run) 2:21.
W: Erb 15 run (Erb run) 10:14.
W: Erb 32 run (conversion failed) 3:39.